The countries that cater the most for workers' rights

  • Workers' strike
    Ververidis Vasilis /
Published 2019-05-01 08:02

The right to organize protests, to form a trade union or to join one or to safety at work… Workers rights are respected to different extents in different parts of the world. On this International Workers’ Day, revisits the 2018 Global Workers Rights Index of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The ITUC ranks according their violations of workers rights. These are the five countries with the least violations to workers’ rights.


Austria is the one country with the least violations to workers’ rights. Although the country does not provide for an overall minimum wage, certain sectors, such as domestic work or education, establish a minimum salary for their workers. Austrian workers are also one of the luckiest in terms of paid holidays, with up to 43 days a year, as well as parental leaves. The country’s regulations on the employment of disabled persons are also very strict with at least one disabled worker for every 25 workers.


Belgium also does a pretty good job at protecting workers rights with violations kept at a minimum. In this country, the setting of a minimum wage is also subject to the different sectors although salaries in the country is usually higher than in any other european country. In terms of parental leave, however, Belgium still has to catch up on its European counterparts as it only offers three months of maternity leave and 10 days of paternity leave.


In Denmark, there is no cross-sector minimum wage, but the setting of salaries by employers is subject to certain collective agreements. The law is also very strict on discrimination at hiring or at termination of contract against workers who are part of trade unions. Employees are entitled to 25 days of paid holiday a year in Denmark.


Finland is very respectful of workers rights. Finland is especially known for the incredible parental leave it offers its workers. Mothers can take up to four months of maternity leave and fathers are entitled to 54 days of paid paternity leave. Futhermore, the country values the freedom of workers to join and create unions as well as to a safe and healthy environment at work. Finally, while there is no minimum wage in Finland, workers should be paid according to the collective agreements relevant to their sectors.


Workers’ rights is a priority in Germany where workers are entitled to at least 20 days of paid leave in a year. Germany is also the only country in this top 5 to have an across the board minimum wage of EUR 9.35 an hour. Working mothers are entitled to 13 weeks of maternity leaves in all of which six weeks before the pregnancy. As for fathers, they are encouraged to share a three-year leave with their wives- leave both parents are entitled to until the child reaches the age of three.